Eleven people have been arrested for alleged involvement in distributing a methanol-based substance consumed as a cheap alcohol substitute that has killed 58 people in a Siberian city.
An official in the Irkutsk municipal administration told TASS that the people had been detained as part of a "criminal case into the alcohol poisoning" and police had reason to believe that some of the suspects "are linked to others."
Sergei Menyailo, presidential envoy to the Siberian district, told the agency that some suspects had already been charged in relation to the poisoning, but did not specify with what offence.
More than 102 people have also fallen ill after consuming the highly toxic hawthorn 'Boyaryshnik' bath lotion as a substitute for alcohol, with the death toll climbing from 49 to 58 on Monday.
Health minister Oleg Yaroshenko said that almost half of those still being treated are not expected to live and were in a very serious condition.
"They came to [the] doctors too late.... Only a miracle can save them," he was quoted by The Siberian Times as saying.
Household products including medicines, anti-freeze and cosmetics are consumed as a cheap alternatives to alcohol across Russia. The two-year Russian recession has made their use more prevalent.
A ban on the sale of non-beverage substances containing alcohol has been imposed in Irkustsk, as authorities scour the city for remaining stocks of the substance.
Bottles of non-beverage substances containing alcohol are labelled with warnings against consumption, however investigators say that Boyaryshnik was labelled as containing 'ethyl', not the toxic 'methanol'.